Southern trendsetters converge under the tents in Marion Square today as Charleston Fashion Week kicks off with parties, runway shows, and celebrity appearances. One of the highlights of CFW has always been the Emerging Designer Competition, which in the past has propelled designers like Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves, Carol Hannah Whitfield, and Lindsey Carter into the mainstream realms of retail. This year the panel of judges who preside over the faith of the up-and-coming designers include ELLE magazine editor, Anne Slowey; creator of New York Fashion Week, Fern Mallis; designer Mychael Knight; and actress Vanessa Lachey
Over the past five years, CFW has grown to attract designers from across the U.S., but Southern talent still reins at the five-day affair. Here are some of the collections we can’t wait to see at this year’s shows.
Mamie Ruth — Savannah-based Emily Bergeron’s maxi dresses with colorful bodices and flowing skirts are perfect for summer. Showing Tuesday.
Faith Annette Thornburg — Some of these SCAD grad designer’s weddings dresses are totally wearable for a midsummer’s night’s soiree. Showing Saturday.
Nancy Faw Crowell — How adorable is this plaid trimmed cape from the Murrel’s Inlet children’s wear designer? Showing Thursday.
Vartika Vikram — Bring on the petticoats! This Charleston designer is all about volume. Showing Thursday.
By Vilette — Pleats and draping bring a modern appeal to this romantic line by Raleigh gals Kelly Ruehlman and Amy Quinn. Showing Thursday.